The role of your accountant can be so much more than simply completing your tax return and ensuring that you are compliant with legal policies and procedures. If you choose the right accountant, they can use their skills and experience to help you identify your financial strengths and weaknesses, and help you drive your business forward. This person will play a vital role in your business and you will be putting a great deal of trust in them and their ability to do a good job. It is, therefore, crucial that you find the right accountant for you and your business. After all, you wouldn’t entrust your finances with just anyone!
Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right accountant for you.
Qualifications. Whilst other professionals, such as doctors, dentists, and teachers, must be fully qualified and regulated, your accountant may not be qualified at all. Technically, anyone can call themselves an accountant – they don’t need to have any specific qualifications or experience. Reputable accountants, such as Harrogate accountants Stringer Mallard, are qualified through one of the main professional accountancy bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Before starting a relationship with a new accountant, it is crucial that you check their qualifications – it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Experience in your industry – Whilst accounting can be something of a general field, it can be highly beneficial to employ an accountant who is familiar with your particular industry. There are certain requirements and procedures that are specific to certain types of business, so it’s important that your accountant is familiar with your individual needs. It also goes without saying that, if your accountant has a good understanding of your industry, they can provide a much more thorough and pro-active service.
Good fit – As well as having experience in your sector, it is also important that your accountant is suitable for dealing with your type of business. If, for example, you are a small, start-up company that needs lots of guidance and support, a large firm that specialises in multi-national clients, probably isn’t the best choice for you. Do some research, find out what level of support you need, and check that your accountant can provide it.
Fees – How much does your prospective account charge? Is this within your budget? It is also important to find out how the accountant charges – do they offer fixed fees? Or do they charge at an hourly rate? Fixed fees can be much easier to track and will avoid you ending up with a nasty surprise when your bill arrives at the end of the year.
Personal choice – Whilst it is important that your accountant is a good fit for you on a business level, it is equally as important that they are a good fit for you on a personal level. You will be working closely with your accountant and you need to feel comfortable, being completely honest with them about your finances. Choose someone you click with and don’t be afraid to follow your instincts.
Trustworthy. Above all, you need to be completely satisfied that the person you are entrusting with the management of your finances is 100% trustworthy. You are putting your money, reputation, and future in their hands and so it is vital that they are both honest and reputable (as well as being qualified to do the job). As trustworthy as they may seem, you should always double check their credentials – at Harrogate accountants Stringer Mallard, we are fully licensed, qualified and registered, and we can’t stress how important it is that your chosen accountant can prove the same.